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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Director's Biography

Paul Scarlett has been the Director of the City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services (BDS) since July 2005. He began his career with the City of Portland in 1989 as a City Planner with the Bureau of Planning. Paul was promoted to the BDS Management team as Inspection Supervisor in 2001 and then to Inspection Manager in February 2005.

In 1993, he was awarded the American Planning Association (APA) Special Achievement Award for his work on the City of Portland’s Albina Community Plan. A recognized expert in the field of urban planning, Mr. Scarlett has been invited to be a guest speaker on the topic several times at his alma mater, Brigham Young University, and other institutions and groups. He was also invited to Moscow, Russia July 2007 to speak on housing strategies in Portland. In November 2008, Mr. Scarlett was invited be a guest panelist on the Hawaii Developer’s Council to present on Incentivizing Responsible and Sustainable Development. He was a presenter at the 2011 and 2012 International Code Council Conferences covering the topic on the development review process and construction activities in Portland,Oregon. 

Since his appointment as Director of the Bureau of Development Services, Mr. Scarlett has been instrumental in creating a customer service-oriented culture and developing new programs to achieve efficiency and improved service delivery. Mr. Scarlett is equally focused on implementing a new information technology system that will move the bureau’s workflow to a predominantly paperless permit and case management operation. Increasing the diversity and equity components of the bureau’s workforce and its service delivery are also important priorities for Mr. Scarlett. 

Paul was a scholarship athlete who competed as a sprinter on his college track team at Brigham Young University (BYU). He also competed in the 100m event at the 1996 Canadian Olympic Trials.

Mr. Scarlett received his Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, and holds a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University, Portland,Oregon. Paul has been a member of the National Advisory Council for BYU’s College of Family and Home Sciences since 2006.

Mr. Scarlett was born in Jamaica and migrated with his family to Toronto, Canada where he spent his teenage years. He has resided in Portland since 1989. He and his wife Susan are proud parents of their three children. 

In addition to being a Bureau Director, Mr. Scarlett has continued to find time, for over the past 20 years, to pursue his passion of coaching. He is a certified USA Track and Field Coach. Through this endeavor, he is able to give back to the community by assisting young people to learn the sport, build their confidence and pursue their dreams.  

He coached the sprint team at St. Mary’s Academy High School in Portland, Oregon from 2000 to 2012 and helped lead the team to winning the Girls 6A Track and Field State Championships in 2012. Currently he is the Boys and Girls sprint and relay coach at Central Catholic High School located in Portland, Oregon.